"AGAINST ALL THE OTHERS!". A STUDY OF MARGINAL CONSTESTATION IN ROMANIA BASED ON DISCOURSE THEORY

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"AGAINST ALL THE OTHERS!". A STUDY OF MARGINAL CONSTESTATION IN ROMANIA BASED ON DISCOURSE THEORY Powered By Docstoc
					    STUDIA UNIVERSITATIS BABEŞ‐BOLYAI, STUDIA EUROPAEA, LIV, 4, 2009 
                                                 
 
 
      „AGAINST ALL THE OTHERS!”. A STUDY OF MARGINAL 
       CONSTESTATION IN ROMANIA BASED ON DISCOURSE 
                         THEORY  
 
                                      Sergiu Mişcoiu* 
 
Abstract 
Because  of  the  burden  of  totalitarian  communism,  the  Romanian  extremist 
movements  have  rarely  contested  the  democratic  system  as  a  whole  and  have 
adopted some strategies of accommodation. In this way, they left a virgin space of 
variable dimensions for the anti‐system movements that emerged at the margins of 
mainstream society. In this study, I will use the theoretical framework of discourse 
theory and the empirical framework of a comparative international research project 
to show that, albeit being marginal by its nature, radical contestation in Romania 
may have unexpected consequences over the stability and legitimacy of the political 
and institutional system.  
Key‐words: contestation, radicalism, discourse theory, identity, marginality 
 
        Ignored for a long period of time, the phenomenon of contestation 
has  made  its  return  among  the  main  research  interests  on  the  occasion  of 
the  celebration  of  the  May  1968  upsurge.  But  between  1968  and  2008, 
contestation  has  changed  its  nature  and  its  appearance.  The  place  of  the 
mass movements who openly contested power has been taken by the quasi‐
sectarian units or the informal pressure groups whose actions are generally 
a  strange  combination  between  violent  sabotages  and  meticulous 
constructions of parallel worlds. 
        This  contribution  attempts  to  evaluate  the  explicative  added  value 
of discourse theory to the study of the Romanian rebellious movements.1 In 

* PhD Lecturer in Political Science, Faculty of European Studies, „Babes‐Bolyai” University, 
Cluj‐Napoca. E‐mail: miscoius@yahoo.com  
1  In  order  to  avoid  some  possible  misunderstandings,  I  will  use  different  quotation  marks 

for the metaphors that I will use and for the words used by the subjects of my interviews. 
Thus, I will respectively use italics for my metaphors and ‘single quotation marks’ for those 
used by the interviewed.  
32                                        Sergiu Mişcoiu 

the  first  part,  I  will  briefly  expose  the  framework  of  the  research  project 
L’Europe  rebelle  (a  joint  project  of  the  Universities  Paris‐Est  
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Because of the burden of totalitarian communism, the Romanian extremist movements have rarely contested the democratic system as a whole and have adopted some strategies of accommodation. In this way, they left a virgin space of variable dimensions for the anti-system movements that emerged at the margins of mainstream society. In this study, I will use the theoretical framework of discourse theory and the empirical framework of a comparative international research project to show that, albeit being marginal by its nature, radical contestation in Romania may have unexpected consequences over the stability and legitimacy of the political and institutional system. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
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